The Political Implications of Reviving Druidism
                       (c) 1984 P. E. I. Bonewits
                Reprinted from "The Druids' Progress" #1

       Throughout  all  known human history,  people who  had  hidden 
    knowledge (whether of healing,  weather prediction,  mathematics, 
    or  magic) have used their exclusive possession of that knowledge 
    as a source of power,  for purposes that were good, bad or weird. 
    The  warrior  caste has always done its level best to  take  that 
    knowledge away from the clergy and to put it to political, econo-
    mic and military use.  Today, almost all the hard and soft scien-
    ces have become tools for those who wish to control their  fellow 
    human beings.  The polluters, the exploiters, the oppressers, the 
    conquerers -- whether calling themselves "capitalists" or "commu-
    nists" -- they are the ones who control nearly all the technology 
    of overt power and a great deal of the tech for covert tyranny.
       One  of  the very few ways we have of defending ourselves  and 
    our  fellow passengers (human and other) on this Spaceship  Earth 
    is  through  the careful and judicious  use  of  magic.  National 
    governments  and  private  enterprises are spending  millions  of 
    dollars (and rubles and pounds and yen) trying to develop psychic 
    powers  into dependable tools for warfare and  oppression;  while 
    most of us who should be learning precise techniques and  careful 
    timing, in order to use magic and the power of the Gods to defend 
    ourselves  and our Mother Earth,  have been busy being misty-eyed 
    romantics, not wanting to "sully our karma" by trying to do magic 
    that might really work (that is to say,  for which we would  have 
    to take personal responsibility).
       As  a result,  we have assisted the very forces of  oppression 
    which  we  claim  to oppose.  We are partly responsible  for  the 
    poverty,  hunger, pollution, disease and early deaths which domi-
    nate  so much of our planet.  Occultists have assisted  by  being 
    unwilling  to  put  their talents to the test by using  them  for 
    "mundane" or "lowly-evolved" purposes. Ecologists, Celtic nation-
    alists,  and would-be revolutionaries have assisted by being  un-
    willing  to use nonmaterialistic technologies to cause changes in 
    the material world (after all,  if Freud and Marx didn't  mention 
    magic as real,  it can't possibly work). The creation of Neopagan 
    Druidism may be able to help change those attitudes.
       Despite  the efforts of liberal Christian clergymen to make us 
    forget the physical and cultural genocide committed by  organized 
    Christianity  against the peoples of Europe,  there is simply  no 
    way  to ignore the fact that monotheists in power always seek  to 
    silence  competing  voices.  We  cannot look  to  the  mainstream 
    churches for our physical and spiritual liberation,  for they are 
    the  ones who took our freedom away in the first  place.  Marxist 
    atheism  is  no answer either,  for it is also a product  of  the 
    monotheistic  tunnel-reality,  and seeks to impose its dogmas and 
    holy  scriptures  just as strenously as ever the  churches  have. 
    Those who want to live in a world of peace,  freedom and cultural 
    pluralism,  must look beyond the currently  available,  "respect-
    able" (i.e., monistic) alternatives they have been presented with 
    by the mass media, and consider new alternatives.
       Many  people think of Neopaganism in general,  or Druidism  in 
    particular  (if they think of them at all),  as just being  "odd" 
    religions,  with  no political implications worth  investigating. 
    But  I  believe  that Neopagan Druidism has  important  political 
    ideas which should be considered,  especially by those  concerned 
    with the survival and revival of the Celtic peoples.
       Druidism  is political because one of the primary tasks of the 
    clergy has always been to ride herd on the warriors. (This may be 
    one reason why barbarian warriors welcomed the Christian mission-
    aries,  because  they  perceived (correctly) that  the  Christian 
    priests would be far more likely to play ball with them than  the 
    Druids had been.  After all,  if the world is ending any day now, 
    why  bother  controlling your local warriors?) Since the  primary 
    threat  to  life  on this planet now  comes  from  out-of-control 
    warriors, it's time we started taking that duty seriously again.
       Druidism is political because only a Nature worshipping  reli-
    gion  can  give  people sufficient concern for  the  environment. 
    Monotheism  is a major cause of the current state of the  world's 
    ecology.  We need a strong public religion that tells the pollut-
    ers,  "No,  it's  not  divinely sanctioned for you  to  rape  the 
       Druidism  is political because the Druids have always been the 
    preservers of the best of their traditional cultures.  The  Meso-
    pagan  Druids of Brittany and Wales,  for example,  are  directly 
    responsible for assisting the revival of the Cornish language and 
    tradition  from the very edge of extinction.  The various  tradi-
    tional preservation and independence movements, such as the Celt-
    ic,  Flemish,  Baltic and other related movements in Europe, need 
    religious  and  cultural leadership based in their own  cultures. 
    Druidism can help create an environment in which such  leadership 
    can develop.
       Druidism is political because it offers a worldview completely 
    different from that of the monotheistic/monistic tyranny that now 
    controls  our planet.  One of the many things that  any  religion 
    does  is  to shape the ways in which people see the world  around 
    them.  We  need a religion that offers people a multitude of  op-
    tions,  rather than traditional western  either/or,  black/white, 
    win/lose choices.
       Druidism  is political,  at the bedrock level,  because it can 
    teach  people how to use their Gods-given psychic and other  tal-
    ents to change the way things are.  Make no mistake, magic works, 
    at least as often as poetry, music or political rallies do. Magic 
    is a form of power that we,  the people of the Earth, have avail-
    able  to use,  not just for psychological  "empowerment"  (making 
    ourselves  feel  better) but to actually control the  individuals 
    and institutions responsible for our planet's current mess. If we 
    are  unwilling  to use magic,  then we had might as  well  resign 
    ourselves  and our descendents to either a life of slavery  in  a 
    homogenized,  pasteurized  world,  or a quick and painful nuclear 
    death. And what excuse will we give to the "Lords of Karma" then?

    This  article  has  been reprinted from "The  Druids'  Progress", 
    issue #1, and is copyright 1984 by P. E. I. Bonewits. "DP" is the 
    irregular journal of a Neopagan Druid group called "Ar  nDraiocht 
    Fein",  founded  by Bonewits (author of "Real Magic").  For  more 
    data,  send an S.A.S.E.  to:  Box 9398,  Berkeley, CA, USA 94709. 
    Permission  to distribute via BBS's is hereby  granted,  provided 
    that the entire article, including this notice, is kept intact.

     bother  controlling your local warriors?) Since the  primary 
    threat  to  life  on this planet now  comes  from  out-of-contro